Telecom Commission letter addressed to the Distribution List
Ottawa, 11 December 2019
Our reference: 1011-NOC2019-0057
RE: Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-57, Review of mobile wireless services – process letter for requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential in parties’ 22 November 2019 further comments
Dear Madams, Sirs:
Pursuant to the process set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57, Review of mobile wireless services,Footnote1 parties were able to file further comments by 22 November 2019.
In a letter dated 27 November 2019, Commission staff set out the process and associated dates for parties to make requests for public disclosure, under section 39(4)(a) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act), of information that was designated as confidential in parties’ further comments.
Bell Mobility, Rogers and TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) each filed disclosure requests focusing on the Competition Bureau’s further comments. CNOC filed comments requesting disclosure from the Competition Bureau and also from Bell Mobility.Footnote2 TELUS has also requested that several procedural changes be made to accommodate its disclosure request.
Public disclosure of confidential information contained in the Competition Bureau’s further comments
The Competition Bureau filed two versions of its further comments (and accompanying report containing its economic study) with the Commission – an abridged version which is on the public record, and a confidential version. The confidential version of the report contains data and information, some of it aggregated and some disaggregated, that were disclosed to the Competition Bureau by wireless carriers pursuant to a Commission decision.Footnote3
Both TELUS and CNOC have made wide-ranging disclosure requests of this confidential information (TELUS’ request was subject to certain caveats which are discussed further on).
Much of the information underlying the Competition Bureau’s confidential filings originates from information that was designated as confidential by other parties.Footnote4 Accordingly, it would be appropriate to recognize the parties that have disclosed information designated as confidential to the Competition Bureau as appropriate respondents to the disclosure requests made with respect to the Competition Bureau’s further comments. Further, the Competition Bureau may file its own response to the disclosure requests.
The Competition Bureau and wireless carriers who disclosed confidential information to the Competition Bureau (who are identified in the Appendix) may therefore respond to the disclosure requests made by Bell Mobility, Rogers and CNOC relating to the Competition Bureau’s further comments by 18 December 2019.
TELUS’ requestsTELUS requested disclosure of the Competition Bureau’s complete report and parties’ RFI responses upon which the report relies. It also requested that the Competition Bureau file and disclose certain additional supporting information relevant to its report including, among other things, databases, computer code, regression logs, spreadsheets and excel workbooks.
TELUS did not request disclosure of these materials on the public record of the proceeding. Rather, it requested that the Commission require disclosure to be made to the outside counsel and “Independent Experts” retained by specific parties to the proceeding, on specific terms and conditions. TELUS appended a draft of the order it sought to its request.
In addition, TELUS requested certain other forms of relief, including an extension of time for specific parties to respond to the Competition Bureau’s report and a consequential postponement of the oral hearing. TCI also proposed alternative relief in the event that its principal request was not granted.
Parties to the proceeding are invited to provide their comments on TELUS’ requests and on the draft order sought by 18 December 2019. TELUS may file a reply to any comments received on these issues by 23 December 2019.
In formulating their comments, parties should be aware that, in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57-1Footnote5 which was recently issued, the Commission instituted an additional comment period in the proceeding, the purpose of which is for parties to reply to the Competition Bureau’s report. These comments are due 13 January 2020. At the same time, the Commission rescheduled the oral hearing, delaying it by approximately five weeks. It is now scheduled to commence on 18 February 2020. The Commission considered that this would strike the appropriate balance between providing parties with fulsome opportunities to present their own evidence and respond to the evidence of other parties on the one hand and not unduly prolonging the proceeding on the other hand. On 4 December 2019, the Commission issued the Agenda and established the Organization and Conduct of the hearing.
While the requests for disclosure and for other procedural relief referred to above will be considered, along with any comments and replies filed, in the normal course, Commission staff considers that it will be possible for parties to participate meaningfully in the 13 January 2020 reply phase based on the materials already filed on the public record by the Competition Bureau in its further comments. For instance, parties may comment on the methodologies employed or the appropriateness of the policy recommendations proposed by the Competition Bureau.
In the event that further procedure is determined to be appropriate as a result of a decision to require the disclosure of information in response to the relevant requests, staff considers that there is ample opportunity for such steps to be implemented in addition to the procedures already instituted by the Commission.
Original signed by
All parties to 2019-57
Parties who provided confidential information to the Competition Bureau:
Bell Mobility Inc. (Bell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Bragg Communications Incorporated (Eastlink), email@example.com
Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
Execulink Telecom Inc., email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hay Communications Co-operative Limited, email@example.com
Huron Telecommunications Co-Operative Limited, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited, email@example.com
Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers), email@example.com
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel), firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaw Telecom Inc (Shaw), email@example.com
Sogetel Mobilité Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
SSi Micro Ltd., email@example.com
TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS), firstname.lastname@example.org
Videotron Ltd. (Videotron), email@example.com
Ice Wireless Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Xplornet Communications Inc., email@example.com
Wightman Telecom Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
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